Bringing flow to your workday brings a sense of ease, increases your productivity and reduces your stress. Creating flow can be challenging in the face of a fast pace, distractions and too much to do. Here are 10 ways to help you increase the flow of your workday.
1. Practice bringing yourself fully to the present moment once every hour and when you are feeling stress.
2. Take breaks every two hours, when possible, to re-center.
3. At least three days a week get a change of scene during your lunch.
4. Exercise three times a week during or outside of your workday.
5. Eat well and be aware of your sugar and caffeine intake during the day, so they do not disrupt your flow.
6. Set your priorities at the beginning of the day and follow them. If a crisis or something else disrupts your plan, make adjustments in the present moment.
7. Be realistic about the time it takes you to do something.
8. Develop awareness of the extent to which your mind rules your day both in positive and negative ways.
9. Make a commitment to flow and balance in your life.
10. Recognize and celebrate the workdays in which you flow well.
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In nature, chaos and order coexist. Flow and structure can also coexist, if you manage them wisely. In our hierarchical systems, specific goals and corresponding measures tend to rule. At the same time, it is recognized that innovation flows from creativity and freedom.
How do you reconcile and balance these approaches? I have found that flow can exist within a flexible structure. Overall aims and goals are necessary, with deadlines. Once they are established, I move into flow, measuring productivity each day and progress towards goals. There is open space within each day for insights, new ideas and constructive collaboration. This requires a level of comfort with uncertainty, the ability to change course and letting go of limiting structures.
Do you lean more towards flow or structure? Do you see them as incompatible? How can you balance flow and structure for maximum productivity and the best results?
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Rushing is everywhere – you rush, I rush, others rush, time speeds up. Which is better, to rush or to flow? Rushing implies urgency, haste and rapid movement. Flow implies fluidity, steadiness and continuity. Personally, I vote for flow. Picture yourself in a fast-flowing river. If you are rushing, you are pushing against it. If you flow, you are aligning with it.
Flow involves steady and fluid movement, allowing you to acclimate to what is happening around you. You maintain your center and can respond to whatever happens. Rushing involves frenzy and a lack of control. You may lose your center and merely react to what happens.
Develop your ability to flow. It serves you better than rushing and will get you where you want to go.
photo: AndrewBertram, unsplash.com
There is an ebb and flow to balance, like the tides of the ocean. How then, do you achieve balance within this movement? You cannot do it with schedules and boundaries alone. Balance is aided by a sense of flow; a realization that hour – to – hour things change and within that change, you must maintain your overall commitment to balance.
An example may be that you have a project that will require an all-out effort for the next three days. You commit to doing what it takes to get the project done, but before you start, you address the effect doing so will have on your balance. You look at the elements you balance in your life, say family, physical exercise or relaxation, and you make a commitment to give time to them right after the project is completed. It’s a re-balancing, after losing balance a bit in order to get the project done.
By acknowledging the ebb and flow of balance, you can attain a level of balance in your life that really works.